Gary War: "Jared's Lot" music review


We've long been fans of these outsider noise pop weirdos Gary War. They even played our very first aQ/WFMU showcase at South By Southwest, but wow has their sound changed since then. Our pal Anthony described this new record Jared's Lot WAY more succinctly and accurately than we ever could:

"Expertly performed, extremely difficult clash between pop inclinations and punk ideals sent through a completely synthetic, inhuman aesthetic. If you sent the Wipers early albums through the most intuitive state-of-the-art midi processor you might end up with something like this, simultaneously baroque and sterile, and very catchy at times. When the option is to zig or zag Gary War will always zap!"

And while to our ears, at times Gary War sounds like a whole different band, there are definitely plenty of moments that harken to the GW of old, but right from the outset, Jared's Lot seems to establish a new sonic era with record opener "Thousand Yard Star" unfurling a spaced out psychedelic synthscape that seems to owe more to John Carpenter and Goblin, or more recently Umberto and the like, than Ariel Pink or John Maus, who were so obviously GW's sonic brethren in the past. But this new sound definitely suits them, "Thousand Yard Star" playing out like the soundtrack to some ridiculous, low budget seventies sci-fi epic, all pulsing sequenced synth throb and shuffling Autobahn rhythms, with wild swirling effects and seriously tweaked vox.

"Advancements In Disgust" (above) takes that psychedelic synth sound and weds it to some fractured outsider pop, everything doused in space age shimmer, and driven by those percolating synth pulses, the vocals effected and pitch shifted, layered and warped into a dizzying alien chorus, the song driving and propulsive one second, tripped out and almost kosmische the next. It's like some sort of synth heavy outsider garagekraut cold wave, slipping easily from twisted lo-fi pop to prismatic electro bliss out, everything swaddled in swoops of bloops and bleeps and clouds of shimmery outer space psychedelic synth swirl.

The best moments are tracks like "Pleading For Annihilation", where the band actually rock, all pounding drums and distorted electric guitars, woven into GW's tripped out galactic synth pop, crunchy buzz butted up against dizzying blasts of arpeggiated synth melodies, those two disparate elements gradually merging into some of the most kick ass kosmische whatthefuck tripped out electronic space pop EVER.

Gary War "Jared's Lot" cd and lp


  1. Has a beat, has a melody, has enough complexity to be worth listening to. I can’t tell if the lyrics are worthwhile or not, but the voice is distorted enough that I can just treat it as another instrumental texture so that’s OK.

    I like. Not sure whether I’d buy, but it’s certainly got my attention.

  2. On the other hand, the dancers (?) clearly have no sense of rhythm whatsoever. They’re having fun, OK, but…. I could happily do without those visuals.

Comments are closed.